Mosquito Lagoon Fishing Report
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August 19, 2014
Complements of Mosquito
Creek Outdoors, Apopka, FL
Lawson, Sandy and Braxton celabrate a Lagoon moment together as they
admire Sandy's very respectable redfish.
Events and Seminars
August 23rd - 5pm NWTF Wekiva Springs Strutters 15th Annual Hunting
Heritage Banquet and Auction. The event will be held at the Bahia Shrine
Center, 2300 Pembroke Dr., Orlando, Florida 32810
This Week's Indian River lagoon Coast Fishing Report
Mike's Respectable Redfish
With our daytime highs in the mid to upper 90's on the Lagoon Coast
of Florida, one can only describe our weather as Hot! Hot! Hot! While
the heat is on, the mid summer doldrums are holding firm, with slight
south to west winds between 5 to 10 mph. On top of the hot and slick
conditions, I'm delighted to report the alga blooms in the Indian River
Lagoon have only accrued in small isolated locations and the sea grass
in many areas is showing significant improvement over last year during
this same period.
Although the weather is very hot, the fishing has been good with good
numbers of redfish patrolling the shallow flats in small packs, but they've
been a challenge to catch as they are moving fast. Once you set up in
front of them, you get one or two good shots at them before the blow
On all charters this past week we caught redfish, but a significant
amount of poling was required and only a few decent fish were caught.
There were plenty of redfish sighted, but getting a lure or bait in front
of hungry fish was the challenge.
Braxton's Redfish Releases
Braxton's Sea Trout
Even with the slow catching, I did have a very memorable charter sharing
the deck of Three Quarter Time with three generations of the Dan family
from Orlando. The eldest was Sandy, his son Lawson and his grandson Braxton.
Lawson had purchased my charter donated to the Wounded Warrior Outdoors
fundraiser last year, and elected to spend an unforgettable day on the
water with his dad and son. The catching was slow, but the weather was
perfect and we did manage a few very respectable fish.
Visit www.mosquitocreekoutdoors.com for
your outdoor adventure needs, its Where the Adventure Begins!
Complements of Mosquito
Creek Outdoors, Apopka, FL
Joan's Mullet Run Redfish
Events and Seminars
The Florida Coastal Office is holding a series of public meetings to
receive public comment on the draft Indian River Lagoon Aquatic Preserves
Management Plan, including Banana River, Indian River-Malabar to Vero
Beach, Indian River-Vero Beach to Ft. Pierce and Jensen Beach to Jupiter
Inlet aquatic preserves. The draft plan is available for viewing or download
at www.dep.state.fl.us/coastal/sites/indianriver/plan.htm. The Indian
River Lagoon Aquatic Preserves Management Plan Advisory Committee will
Meeting Dates and Locations
Monday, September 22, 2014, 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
200- Virginia Avenue
Ft. Pierce, Florida 34982
Tuesday, September 23, 2014, 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Indian River County Administration Complex
Building A, County Commission Chamber
1801 27th Street
Vero Beach, FL 32960
Wednesday, September 24, 2014, 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Martin County Commission Chambers
2401 SE Monterey Road
Stuart, FL 34996
Thursday, September 25, 2014, 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Brevard County Government Center
County Commission Chambers
2725 Judge Fran Jamiesen Way
Viera, FL 32940
Written comments are welcome and can be submitted by mail to 3300 Lewis
Street, Ft. Pierce, FL 34981 or by email toFloridaCoasts@dep.state.fl.us
by Friday, October 24, 2014
Sam's IRL Redfish caught on a DOA Bait Buster
September Fishing Outlook
As we approach the backside of summer on Florida's east central coast,
shorter days, prevailing easterly breezes and longer cooler nights signal
the approach of fall. All of these signs are also natural indicators
signaling prey and predator alike that spawning season is over and it's
once again time to fatten up and return south to warmer waters.
September on the Space Coast serves as the most anticipated and predictable
times of the year for anglers looking to find fish bunched up and feeding
happily on finger mullet during their migration south. Silver mullet,
snook, and tarpon are just a few of the tropical species of fish migrating
north up the Atlantic coast in the spring, spend their summers in the
rich estuarine waters of the eastern seaboard fattening up and spawning
all summer long, and then forming up for their mass migration south in
It's hard to predict the magnitude and duration of the mullet run, but
since the elimination of gillnets by Florida voters, their populations
have exploded. As the baitfish and predators gather and begin to move
south along the beaches and through the lagoons, the moon and tides cause
them to move in pulses rather than a continuous flow. Therefore, locating
schooling baitfish is the key to catching fish. One day a particular
location will be loaded with bait and fish, and the next day they will
be gone. When searching for schools of bait fish, focus your attention
on bait schools bunched up and under pressure in the shallow water and
along the beach with your natural indicators being diving pelicans, terns
and seagulls, wading shore birds, showering mullet schools and busting
Mullet have an arduous life cycle beginning in the fall of the year when
the sexually mature adults (roe mullet) gather in large schools, migrate
south and then offshore to their spawning grounds along the Atlantic
continental shelf. These aggregations remain in the spawning area from
late October through January where the females release over a million
eggs on multiple occasions. Once fertilized, the eggs hatch within a
few days and the hatchlings are dispersed by the Gulf Stream up the eastern
coastline from Florida to North Carolina and beyond. After spending the
spring and summer in the coastal estuaries, the adolescents mullet exit
their summertime estuarine home on their mass exodus south to the warm
waters of south Florida.
On the Indian River, Mosquito, and Banana River Lagoons, look for slot
redfish and sea trout to be shadowing schools of finger mullet working
south through the estuaries, and for the larger redfish and sea trout
staging in the deeper ambush locations like causeways, bridges, creek
mouths and points, were schooling baitfish are forced to leave the safety
of the shallow flats.
With the hungry predators focusing their attention on finger mullet,
anglers should be using both top-water and soft plastic lures matching
the main food source. For the deep water situation, the D.O.A. Bait Buster
works well, and try the new D.O.A. 4-inch shad around schools of large
mullet in shallow water. Mullet are vegetarians, so as they move and
feed, they are often shadowed by redfish and sea trout feeding on small
baitfish, shrimp and crabs flushed out by the larger mullet moving through
the grass. If you are fishing up shallow and the floating widgeon grass
is not a problem, tie on your favorite top-water plug and standby for
some explosive action.
In and around the beaches, and inlets look for flounder, snook, jack
crevelle, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, and oversized redfish ambushing
migrating mullet along the beaches and jetties. The snook run has already
started along the beach, and will begin to pick up substantially just
in time for the opening of snook season on September 1st. Remember, new
snook regulations are in effect with a one snook per day bag limit and
a 28 to 32-inch slot on Florida's east coast. Also watch for the larger
redfish to begin forming up just outside inlets busting on schools of
finger mullet forced away from the safety of the shoreline as they attempt
to cross the open water or the inlet.
All in all, time is of the essence regardless of where and how you fish
the mullet run, so gear up and hit the water before you miss the boat.
Snook from the Beach
The arrival of finger mullet in the surf is the first indicator the time
is right, and like any other bait run, matching the hatch is important
when targeting beach bombers. It's significant to note snook are primarily
nocturnal feeders, so fishing at dusk and first light are the most productive
times. Staging in the trough between the beach and the first sandbar,
snook will move into wash of the shore break to ambush baitfish. Consequently,
a fast action medium heavy spinning rod equipped with a 4000 series spinning
reel sufficient tackle, because there is no need to cast beyond the first
sandbar. As for line and leader, I suggest a minimum of 150 yards of
20-pound braided line with a 40 to 50 pound fluorocarbon leader to counter
the sharpness of a snook's gill plates.
When selecting a lure or fly, remember to match the hatch in size and
color. It is also important when casting lures or flies to work the shore
wash by casting parallel to the beach, as must snook are caught less
than 20 feet from the water's edge. Several lures that have worked well
for me in the past are the Rapala X-Rap in silver and olive green colors,
or DOA's Shallow Running Baitbuster, 5.5" Big Fish Lure, Swimming
Mullet or Terror Eyes. As stated earlier, wade out about knee deep, cast
parallel to the beach, and us a steady slow retrieval as though your
lure is a finger mullet swimming along the edge.
In many cases when fishing for beach snook, nothing beats a freshly caught
live finger mullet, so be sure to bring your cast net, bait bucket and
aerator. For my live bait rig, I start by tying in about 30 inches of
40 pound fluorocarbon leader. Next, I slid on a one ounce barrel sinker
and tie in a #2 circle hook. I then finish the rig by adding a split
shot to the line about 8 inches from the hook. This rig will allow the
mullet to free swim, and as the tide carries your bait down current along
the beach, walk along with it as the sinker slowly rolls down the beach,
keeping it in the strike zone longer.
Captain Tom Van Horn